Thursday, April 28, 2011

April 28

We're to get another break in the winds today. Winds only expected to be no more than 13 mph. Here is the RUC forecast for 6 pm tonight.
The Abrams fire has crept west into the west slopes of the Organ Mountains. At 7:30am the smoke can be seen lingering near the fire and at the base of the mountain due to some morning downslope winds.
We're supposed to get some easterly winds early in the day that will likely push some of the smoke into Las Cruces. Below are Hysplit forward trajectories from the fire starting at 12Z (6 am). I used the RUC model for for the winds. The model generated a forecast trajectory every hour for 12 hours. If it goes as is predicted the smoke may be pushed west and then north along the Rio Grande Valley.
Today's AQI foreacst shows an area of moderate air quality over the eastern part of the study area. The fire may enhance ozone production today in our area due to the low winds and clear skies.
As of tonight the Abrams fire has burned 8909 acres and is 40 percent contained. Dripping Springs, Bar Canyon Trail, Pine Tree Trail, and Aguirre Springs are closed to the public.Smoke was not an issue in Las Cruces today. The southwesterly wind carried the smoke away from populated areas most of the day. 
However I wouldn't doubt that nightime downslope winds will bring smoke down from the mountain tonight. Below is a shot of the fire from Las Cruces at 7:45 pm.

Tomorrow looks to be windy but not as strong as Monday. The NWS forecast indicates afternoon winds in the 27 to 30 mph range with gusts up to 41 mph. The more erodible surfaces will yield dust but not region wide.

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